Everyone wants to be needed, and it is true, volunteers make incredible amounts of work possible for populations in need and communities worldwide every day.

When you are designing a new bridge in town, do you ask the architect to build one for free? Nope. Your work is just as important as that bridge, don’t devalue the currency of your efforts!

Would you show up to your work if they weren’t paying you? Nope. Would you take off of work without pay to help volunteer with your local post office? Nope. So, how would you feel about being asked to spend 10-50 hours over several months helping a major employer in town with a project to enhance their products and services…for free? Exactly.

When you are asking for someone to participate in a project, especially something that significantly improves your service delivery or shapes a new project, you aren’t looking for a volunteer to perform a generic task – you are looking for a subject matter expert. When you bring a patient on a project, you are asking them to share their expertise from having day-to-day observations of a particular disease state, their own.